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Press Release

Midwife retiring after more than 40 years of service
Press release date14/05/2019
On 31 May 2019, midwife Joyce Salkeld is retiring after more than 40 years of working in the NHS. Joyce started nurse training in Doncaster in 1978 and worked as a staff nurse in the accident and emergency, before moving to Leicester to train as a midwife.
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Joyce Salkeld
Press release

Joyce explains: “I worked at Leicester General Hospital for two and half years before being offered a post as a community midwife at what was then known as St Mary’s Hospital in Melton Mowbray. As I had been to St Mary’s as a student, I was offered the job without any interview. 

“I arrived in my blue, crimplene dress with a round felt hat. I remember being told off for asking the mothers to call me Joyce! I was to be addressed as ‘Sister Salkeld’ and they were ‘patients’ not ‘mothers’.

“I very quickly settled and was soon off on my own doing home births and all aspects of antenatal and postnatal work. 

“In 1986 it was a very different place. I had no mobile phone; I had a ‘bleep’. If I was needed for anything I was ‘bleeped’ and I then had to find a phone. It was good if I was in someone’s house but was often between villages so had to decide whether to go on or turn back to find the nearest phone. My Gladstone nursing bag always had 10p in it for the phone!

“In 1997 St Mary’s changed its name to St Mary’s Birth Centre and the focus was then on normality with any complications being seen by obstetricians in one of the hospitals in Leicester or Nottingham. Women then became centre of care, giving birth the same way women always have but with good, evidence based information to help choose and plan for birth. Women now birth their baby kneeling, squatting, in the pool and occasionally on the bed.

 “I have enjoyed working with women to help and encourage them to plan, prepare and achieve a safe birth for their baby whether that is at home, in the birth centre or in hospital. I have been involved with thousands of families over the years and have many happy memories of sharing with families the birth of their children whether that was in a horse box in a field or in a castle!

“We have come a long way from pinards stethoscopes to electronic equipment to assess baby’s wellbeing; from pen and paper to laptops and “smart cards” but I believe the women are getting the best deal.

“I am looking forward to spending my retirement walking, cycling, gardening, taking part in church activities and crochet. I will also enjoy visiting my children and spending time with my two beautiful granddaughters.”

Andrea Dziemianko, midwife and team leader at St Mary’s Birth Centre, adds: “Joyce is highly popular amongst the Mums, she is hardworking and retiring at the top of her career, the St Mary’s team are sorry that she is leaving and will miss her.”

Contact information:
Contact information
For media enquiries, please contact:

Rosalind Moore, Communications Officer,
0116 258 8524, Rosalind.Moore@uhl-tr.nhs.uk
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